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Local firefighters want to plant Christmas tree in Mitchell Park

Phenix Hook & Ladder Co. #1 in Greenport has requested to donate a live Christmas tree to be planted in Mitchell Park. 

“I know the last couple of years it’s been especially tough trying to get a Christmas tree to go in there,” said Peter Harris, who represented the Greenport firefighters at an Oct. 20 Village Board meeting. He asked if they could pick out “a winner” to plant in the park “for the years to come for the Christmas tree lighting,” at no cost to the village.

The Greenport Village Business Improvement District also made a holidays-related request at Thursday’s work session, through a letter read into the record by Trustee Julia Robins. The BID needs assistance for this year’s holiday light installation on Front and Main Streets, said the letter, signed by BID president Rich Vandenburgh. 

BID has traditionally installed lights on more than 35 trees lining the streets in downtown Greenport, he said. “The feedback has been consistently and overwhelmingly positive when we animate our downtown village corridor, which aids in the spirit of the holidays for young and old alike.”

The cost this year, however, was far larger than expected because “virtually all of the actual lights have to be replaced and the cost of labor to install them has increased,” he said. To cover costs, BID would need to use 38% of its total budget for the upcoming year. 

“We cannot fund the expense to that degree and are trying to secure some underwriting to further offset costs,” Mr. Vandenburgh said in the letter. “However, a key component to the overall success of the lighting initiative would be to receive the assistance of the electric department who has the equipment and skill sets necessary to physically install the lights and make the connections.”

He added: “Unfortunately, without the village’s assistance, we will not be able to animate the village as it has been in the past and to lose that holiday spirit would be a truly unfortunate result. Therefore, we appeal to the village for assistance in this regard.”

The village also announced at the work session last Thursday that this year’s Christmas parade is scheduled for Dec. 3.